One-Smoke Stories is a collection of folk tales from Native American, Spanish Colonial, mestizo, and European American peoples of the Southwest retold in the enthralling words of one of the bestselling writers of her day, Mary Austin. One-Smoke Stories introduces us to a multicultural treasury of character types: lovers, hunters, bandits, shepherds, miners, ranchers, homesteaders, missionaries, government offcials, and supernatural beings.
Through folk tales, animal tales, and other genres of popular lore, Mary Austin acquaints readers with the spirituality, humor, and intercultural conflicts of the Southwest. Some stories are overtly political, critiquing the homesteader's conquest of nature, the assimilation policies of Christian missionaries, and the abuses of colonial government. Others use marriage, friendship, community, or religion to illustrate the values and traditions of people in the mainstream and at the margins of American culture.
Originally published in 1934, One-Smoke Stories is one of several early-twentieth-century works that bridged the oral and literary realms by intertwining folklore and fiction. Introduced by Noreen Groover Lape, this new edition of One-Smoke Stories, like Chesnutt's The Conjure Woman, Zitkala-Sa's Old Indian Legends, and Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, stands as an important work in the multicultural canon.
Mary Austin (1868-1934), one of the most prolific and eclectic writers of the American Southwest, identified herself as a feminist, mystic, naturalist, and ethnologist. Recent decades have witnessed a renewed scholarly interest in and a major critical revival of Austin, resulting in the reprinting of much of her work.
Noreen Groover Lape is an assistant professor in the Department of Language and Literature at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. She is the author of West of the Border: The Multicultural Literature of the Western Frontiers, which was named an Outstanding Academic Book by Choice.
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